Assignment: Early Childhood Years

Describe characteristics associated with secure attachment in the early childhood years. Using attachment theory and research findings from the professional literature, suggest some evidence-based recommendations for parents to use in helping foster secure child-caregiver attachments in the early childhood years. What kind of advice can you provide to parents to help their child develop secure attachments? Support your post by applying and citing theory and research related to attachment.
Several antidepressant drugs are effective in treating postpartum depression and appear to be safe for breast feeding women (Molyneaux, Trevillion, & Howard, 2015). Psychotherapy, especially cognitive therapy, also is effective in treating postpartum depression for many women (Carta & others, 2015; Sockol, 2015). In addition, engaging in regular exercise may help to relieve postpartum depression (Ko & others, 2013).
How Would You…?
As a human development and family studies professional, how would you talk with mothers
and fathers about vulnerabilities in mental health and relationships in the postpartum period? A mother’s postpartum depression can affect the way she interacts with her infant (Giallo & others, 2015; Kerstis & others, 2016). A research review concluded that the interaction difficulties of depressed mothers and their infants occur across cultures and socioeconomic status groups, and encompass less sensitivity of the mothers and less responsiveness on the part of infants (Field, 2010b). Several caregiving activities also are compromised, including feeding, sleep routines, and safety practices.
Fathers also undergo considerable adjustment in the postpartum period, even when they work away from home all day (Gawlik & others, 2014; Nishimura & others, 2015; Paulson & others, 2016). Many fathers feel that the baby comes first and gets all of the mother’s attention; some feel that they have been replaced by the baby. The father’s support and caring can play a role in whether the mother develops postpartum depression. One study revealed that higher support by fathers was related to lower incidence of postpartum depression in women (Smith & Howard, 2008).

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